We’ve had a lengthy run of Young Adult fiction adaptations, and almost all of them have fallen into one of two categories: ‘young adult bucks the system, finds themselves and saves the world’ (The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent, The Fifth Wave), or ‘young adult finds tragic love’ (If I Stay, The Fault In Our Stars, The Spectacular Now, any movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel). But, this year brings us Nerve, which is potentially something quite different from the usual Young Adult adaptations that flow relentlessly into movie theatres.
Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan, this film takes a large swipe at the current culture of reality shows, YouTube stars and gaming. Nerve is the name of a fictional online game that allows anonymous viewers to manipulate the actions of players for their own entertainment. High school senior Vee (Emma Roberts) joins the game and finds herself matched with a total stranger named Ian (Dave Franco). Both players have a large follower count, and embark on increasingly risky dares at the behest of their audience – until events begin to take a dramatic turn.
Also starring Kimiko Glenn, Samira Wiley and Juliette Lewis, Nerve boasts a script by Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story), with the directing duo of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Paranormal Activity 4) at the helm. This means that – as we see in this latest trailer – Nerve promises an interesting visual experience, as well as a new direction for Young Adult adaptations.
There is no post-apocalyptic landscape here – this all happening in familiar surroundings – and the only dystopia on display is the one in which we all currently reside, with its reality show obsessions and descent into a push-pull between greed, fame and the desperation to break the tedious monotony of daily routines. It would seem that these things might be a slippery slope, though, as this preview footage suggests that Vee and Ian discover having anonymous people dictate your actions doesn’t necessarily end well. Whether they emerge victorious, or fail miserably will be revealed when Nerve is released on July 27th, 2016.